FEAR LIES AHEAD

August 5, 2011Read: Exodus 14

"It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” --Exodus 14:12

Before the Israelites crossed into the promised land, they found themselves in no man's land. They were in the middle of the harshest desert in the world, after all. They had long since left the paradoxical security of pharoah's bondage where, despite being in captivity, they were provided food, water and accommodations at night. Their GPS? The footsteps of a stuttering man and his brother.

Walking aimlessly day after day under the punishing African sun, survival instinct began to wash over them. Hunger, thirst, frustration and fear had started to erode the already tenuous faith that they had placed in Moses and Aaron. But they were stuck. Both before them and behind them lie vast, hopeless stretches of scorching hot sand, with nary a nibble of food or a drop of water in sight. What to do?

Then Moses laid it out: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When we find ourselves wandering in the desert, we'd be well served by continuing boldly on the course that He's set for us. If we do, thirsting only for the water that gives life, reaching the sand's horizon will be eternally more rewarding. Moses assured the Israelites that even though fear lies ahead, God lives above. How's that for a compass?

--E.V.

PRAYFIT NUTRITION Q&A

Q: How can drinks be zero calorie? Doesn't everything take energy to be digested by your body and wouldn't that make these beverages inherently caloric?

A: Since these types of beverages are mostly water (plus artificial sweeteners, which are chemicals), they contain virtually no calories. Water is absorbed by most cells by simple diffusion and similar pathways that do not require energy so the calorie expediture is considered negligible. The effects that the chemicals may have will vary depending on the type, but do not have much to do with caloric intake or expenditure.

>> DID YOU KNOW? Research shows that people may over-rely on diet drinks, consuming more calories than usual because of the perceived caloric deficit. Temper your consumption of these beverages, instead getting the bulk of your fluid from water. Aim to consume about half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. A 160-pound person should aim for around 80 ounces from sun-up to lights out.

PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.